Trump, Populism and theTyranny of Experts
Polity Press (£9.99)
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
The past few years have seen a populist backlash against the role of experts in the political process. Some view this as a return to the dark ages. Professor Salvatore Babones, of the University of Sydney, argues it isn't so bad. The backlash may even be healthy for democracy.
Large swathes of public life have been taken out of the hands of elected governments and given over to unelected technocrats. These technocrats accuse their populist opponents of being closet authoritarians, yet, as Babones argues, their own support for democracy is conditional on the public endorsing their preferred outcomes. When the public doesn't respond appropriately, by voting for the "wrong" policy or candidate, they either refuse to accept the outcome or use every means possible to undermine it. European governments pressed on with European integration, for example, despite the results of referendums in France, the Netherlands and Ireland.
This is not to endorse individual populist politicians, nor to dismiss liberalism. It's just that liberalism's dominance has been bad for it, because it has moved it from its traditional role of exerting a moderating influence on the excesses of both right and left. Babones's criticisms of the status quo may strike some as overwrought, but his monograph is an original and provocative contribution to the debate.
Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.
He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.
Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.
As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri
Who is the richest person in the world?
The top five richest people in the world have a combined net worth of $825 billion. Who takes the crown for the richest person in the world?
By Vaishali Varu Published
Top 10 stocks with highest growth over past decade - from Nvidia, Microsoft to Netflix, which companies made you the most money?
We reveal the 10 global companies with the biggest returns since 2013. One firm has posted an astonishing 9,870% return, meaning a £1,000 investment would now be worth almost £82,000.
By Ruth Emery Published